Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sweet Chili Sauce

When my mother was a child living in Sri Lanka, her family ran a small catering business.  They made loads of party foods and specialty items like this sweet chili sauce.  This sauce literally took me about 15 minutes to prep and cook.  I did it quickly using modern technology like a food processor.  My mother said they had to do it all by hand... and it was truly a labor of love.   My family adores this chili sauce.  It's so easy to make that buying processed chili sauces from the store will not be a part of my future.  I loved this sauce so much that I used it as the star of a dish that I will share with you tomorrow, so stay tuned. :)

7-8 red chilies (I used Fresno chilies)
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
5-6 Tbs ground chili powder (see note)
2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
2 Tbs grated fresh garlic
1 medium onion
salt to taste

Note:  Chili powder is available in Indian Grocers or substitute cayenne powder.  This is to taste.

 Place all ingredients into food processor.  Processes for several minutes until smooth.  If you want a totally smooth sauce you can strain in with a sieve.  I liked seeing the chili seeds so I left it.

Transfer sauce to a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.  Taste and allow to cool.  Place in cleaned and dry bottles and put in fridge for up to a month.   Enjoy.

This is a pretty spicy sauce.  If you want to lower the spice level, substitute half the Fresno chilies for red bell pepper.  Also reduce the chili powder to taste. 


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  1. This would be such a present to my husband. So handy to have in the fridge. No wonder you are such a good cook if you grew up helping your mother with the catering company.

  2. The sweet chili sauce is gonna be Yummy in any savory dishes, I love homemade spicy sauce!

  3. I love trying homemade chili sauces! My husband will love this!

  4. oooooo I am so intrigued to see what you make with this tomorrow, Ramona! I love homemade sauces like this, and I can imagine putting it on my scrambled eggs in the morning for sure! :D

  5. I have to try this! Already thinking of ways to use it.

  6. Oh, wow! Your chili sauce sounds wonderful! I love that it is spicy sweet. I'm wondering--is this what you use instead of sambal oelek or rooster sauce? Also, for the chili powder, is it just called "chili powder"? We have an Indian market near my house and I want to make sure that I get the right thing. One more thing--is the chili powder equal in heat to cayenne? I'm thinking that 5-6 tablespoons of cayenne would be pretty challenging for me. :) I'm not wimpy, but, umm, I may have a lower heat tolerance factor than some people.

    1. Hi Terri, If you want to reduce the spice in this sauce... I suggest using red bell pepper in combination of a few hotter peppers. The chili powder is from the Indian store.... they can help you find it there They have regular, hot and extra hot chili powder usually. I always buy the extra hot. I would suggest you buy the regular and only add 1-2 Tbs. The sugar will offset some of the spice as well. I don't use cayenne pepper much... but you can always try it... it should be fine too. Cayenne is what they use in hot sauce like Frank's red hot sauce. I made this to my family's taste and we eat "dragon food" as my best friend used to say in high school. :) Hope you enjoy.

  7. Oh I bet this is spicy, but spicy GOOD!!! I'll use the rest of those chips on this. What a great sauce Ramona!


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